How does the water cycle work?
The water cycle is a continuous movement of water from the ground to the air and back to the ground.
- The water cycle moves water from the ocean to the land and back to the ocean again.
- It explains how water travels between places that are not connected by direct waterways. For example, water from Massachusetts can get into the Indian Ocean! By the end of this website, you will know how that is possible.
- The water cycle is always going on and never stops.
Click here to download a worksheet that you can label as you learn about the water cycle.
Over the course of the water cycle, water changes between different states of matter.
- Matter is the material from which all substances are made.
- Matter ordinarily exists in one of three physical states: solid, liquid, or gas.
- A given object's state depends on what the molecules are doing at the object's current temperature and pressure: Are the molecules not holding together at all, holding together weakly, or holding together so tightly that they are locked into a stationary position?
- The transition between the states occurs at definite temperatures and pressures.
- A change in the appearance, size, shape, or state of matter is called a physical change.